Let me tell you about the best small strip of 15 or 20 shops that I have come across in my 40 years of moving around the world and OZ.
It was built on the aspirations of migrants who are well used to making a lot from the little they had. Placed strategically to cater for the largest gathering of hungry assembly plant workers anywhere in Australia, it caters for the poor workers every need; hairdressers, doctor, chemist, newsagent, milk bar, accountants all at Barry Road mates rates.
I am talking about the Barry Road Shopping Centre strip, located smack bang in the middle of Barry Road - diagonally opposite the Upfield train station.
Let's start at the furthest end, with the Barry Road Fish & Chips shop, which uses the healthier option halal oils - good for your heart and soul. You can get a fish & chip pack for $5, not to mention a stack of packs under $10.
Move onto one of the two barbers on the street, Arzu Hair Design and Has Hairstyle, and get a haircut for $12 bucks.
There is Hasret Continental Deli with bread rolls, cold meats, cheeses, olives and dips that you probably never heard of before.
There are no less than three Kebab houses all competing and winning in different fields. The first one, next to the bank, is a classy joint to sit and enjoy Turkish kitchen delights and delicacies and the second is Bizzler Take Away Food with $5 kebab and coke deal and mighty fine Lahmacun (oblong meat pizza) with all the fixins to boot.
Last but not least is Katik Turkish Take Away, famous for is adana kebabı (long meat rissole on a shazlick over charcoal). These guys are former residents of the region of Turkey where this thing was first thought of, so they are the masters of this type of Kebab.
Try the newly opened Noodle Hut with deceptively filling small packs for under $6 or head next door for the Lebanese pizza for one, starting at $1.50.
Some like chicken, so we have the Super Chicken chicken foot long roll and chips with free gravy for $5 and quarter chicken pack for $5.50. Plus there are seafood packs, my favourite is the bargain fish and chips pack for $5.50 with salad packs for $4.50.
There is a Chinese bakery in the middle, which has fresh rolls with delicious fillings and many baked sweets and savouries under $5 and the Turkish Hot Bread Cafe & Cake Shop, at the end, has delights and delicacies you have not seen nor tasted before - still under $5.
Subway is still offering the fresh favourites right in there among the lot of them.
The greengrocer in the middle sells more than veg and fruit - here you can try the rare oriental sweets and exotic Middle Eastern drinks like the yoghurt lemonade.
Prepare to be treated to a Middle Eastern atmosphere, this includes the crowds at busy periods, traffic and parking issues as well as hungry and noisy hoards gathering at one of the best eating spots of this area. Be calm, patient and maybe park across the road to save yourself some unnecessary frustration.
Remember, the world over there is a different place, with many more millions of people living side by side in such limited space, sharing and tolerance for one another is more in your face than we in this 'lucky country' may take for granted.
Simply put, its one of those rare corners of our hometown - a place of culinary adventure for the thrifty tourist in all of us..